Position Title: Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO)
Reports to: Chief Policy Officer & General Counsel
Staff/Budget: This role oversees eight (8) staff members / $1.548M Budget
Location: 79 South Pleasant Street, Suite 200, Amherst, MA 01002
Amherst is among this country’s most diverse and selective liberal arts colleges, renowned for its intellectual rigor, the quality of its student body, and the contributions of its alumni. Over the last two decades, the College has redoubled its historic commitment to access and affordability with generous financial aid and aggressive recruitment strategies. As a result, Amherst’s student body is one of the most socioeconomically, racially, ethnically, and internationally diverse in the country. As diversity has increased, the quality of the students has also risen by every standard measure.
Human Resources at Amherst is at the end of a period of dramatic transformation in which it pivoted from a primarily transactional function into a strategic partner for the College. The initiative included a complete restructure of the HR office, adding new strategic-focused positions and moving transaction-focused positions into a newly created Shared Services function. The new Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) will build on the transformation, firmly establishing HR as a strategic campus partner.
The CHRO must embody Amherst’s commitment to the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion, and carry forward College-wide initiatives and communicate in a variety of institutional settings their value and importance. In particular, the CHRO will lead the recruitment, mentoring, and retention of a staff that mirrors its student body. Employee engagement and enhancing staff members’ sense of belonging must also be key priorities, with strategies, policies, and procedures clearly linked to our workforce. Under the CHRO’s leadership, Amherst will become “A Great College to Work For.”
The CHRO will be a trusted advisor and partner to the senior leadership of the College, helping to develop and implement a workforce strategy that enables leaders to fulfill their [divisional] goals. The CHRO will be a diplomatic leader who can engage and influence others, up to and including the Board of Trustees. They will actively cultivate relationships with members of the College community at every level.
HR Organization Leadership
- Oversee all aspects of HR management and build strong teams within and across the following HR areas: Organizational Development & Engagement, Workplace Relations, Recruitment & Onboarding, and Compensation & Benefits.
- Develop and execute an HR strategic plan that establishes a clear vision of HR’s leadership, support, and service toward advancing the College’s mission and goals.
- Establish and collaborate in the design, review, management and administration of strategies for attracting and retaining a diverse set of talented employees, supporting organizational and employee development, and continually improving and refining the compensation and benefits program of the College.
- Partner with the Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer, Director of Workforce Equity and Inclusive Leadership, and senior leaders to champion diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Incorporate and advance DEI in HR strategies, initiatives and operations.
- Steward culture change. Partner with the College’s leadership in driving change and in the planning for and development of appropriate organizational alignment, structures, and support systems to help Amherst achieve its strategic goals.
- Lead and support efforts to continually measure and improve the employee experience.
- Partner closely with the CF&AO and other senior leaders on institution-wide initiatives to make administrative work at the College's more efficient and effective.
- Advise senior leaders on HR trends, best practices, and operating guidelines for existing and new developments affecting the College. Recommend strategies for incorporating changes, as appropriate, into existing HR policies, practices, and procedures.
HR Organization Management
- Continuously review and evaluate the effectiveness, compliance, and value of HR services, plans, programs, policies, procedures, and activities.
- Design and execute strategies for the administration and communication of HR laws, regulations, and policies.
- Oversee the entire HR staff and directly supervise several HR staff members.
- Responsibly manage the HR budget and ensure financial accountability for funds allocated to HR.
- Responsible for data collection and analysis of the overall effectiveness and efficiency of the College’s compensation and benefits programs.
- Maintain and enhance sustainable service level expectations, process improvements, and internal controls.
- Promote and utilize Workday and other technologies to improve efficiencies and encourage self-service.
- Make robust use of HR data and metrics to track and assess HR trends and initiatives.
- Cultivate cooperative and productive relationships with key constituents across the College.
- Provide HR advice and counsel to the College’s community and monitor managerial HR decisions in departments.
- Required Bachelor’s degree with preference for a relevant Master’s or other graduate degree.
- Minimum of 10 years of relevant experience, including developing effective HR strategy to support the mission and goals of an institution or business, leading culture change, and leading the drive for operational excellence in the day-to-day administration of HR functions.
- Strategist with demonstrated track record as a trusted and active collaborator with a senior leadership team in a higher education institution or other highly complex and diversified organization where HR has had a positive impact on the business or institution. Strong oral and written communication skills.
- Deep commitment to and experience with developing an intentionally inclusive culture that attracts, engages and retains a diverse set of employees.
- High degree of diplomacy with robust interpersonal skills and demonstrated ability as a consensus builder.
- Creative thinker, collaborator, and leads by example.
- Thrive in a fast-paced environment. Manage multiple competing priorities and ensure alignment with stakeholder needs and interests.